Saturday, 17 August 2019

Adeyinka Makinde Interviewed on The Mind Renewed: Russia and Britain: An Enduring But Fruitless Rivalry

TMR 198: Adeyinka Makinde: Russia and Britain: An Enduring But Fruitless Rivalry

A wide-ranging interview with Julian Charles of The Mind Renewed about my essay, “Russia and Britain: An Enduring But Fruitless Rivalry”. The article posits the chronology of Anglo-Russian relations as a recurring clash of civilisatisions which has been fuelled by cultural differences, imperial ambition and ideological antagonism. But it is a relationship, I argue, that could be changed for the better if Britain opted out of the United States-led geo-strategy aimed at aggressively maintaining American global hegemony. Britain should instead embrace the idea of multi-polarity through which it could serve as a bridge between the West and a surgent Eurasian new world order within which Russia is destined to be a key player.

Julian Charles: Hello everybody! Julian Charles here of The Mind Renewed dot Com coming to you as usual from the depths of the Lancashire countryside here in the UK, and today I’m delighted to welcome back yet again the lawyer and university lecturer Adeyinka Makinde, who has joined us a couple of times in the past to discuss various things of geopolitical and historical interest and importance. Adeyinka trained for the law as a barrister. He lectures in criminal law and public law at a university in London, and has research interests in intelligence and security matters. He is regularly published online writing on international relations, politics and military history, and has served as a programme consultant and provided expert commentary for BBC World Service Radio, China Radio International and the Voice of Russia. Adeyinka, thanks very much for coming back to The Mind Renewed, great to speak to you.

Adeyinka Makinde: It’s a pleasure Julian.



Friday, 16 August 2019

Adeyinka Makinde Interviewed on The Mind Renewed: The Pan-Islamic Option (Part Two: The Historical Background)

TMR 181: Adeyinka Makinde: The Pan-Islamic Option (Part Two: The Historical Background)

PART 2

The second part of an extensive interview with Julian Charles of The Mind Renewed about my essay, “The Pan-Islamic Option: The West’s Part in the Creation and Sustaining of Islamist Terror”. This segment focused on the historical origins of Western use of Islam as a factor in war, looking at Germany in Wilhelmine and Nazi eras, Britain from the First World War onwards and the United States’ enduring relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and its inadvertent contribution to the rise of global jihadism through its support for the anti-Soviet Mujahideen in Afghanistan. It also refers to the situations where Islamists who have been given protection by Western state intelligence bodies have gone on to commit acts of terror. It invites listeners to consider whether the many instances of such occurrences are down to negligence or something more sinister.

Julian Charles: Hello everybody! Julian Charles here of The Mind Renewed dot Com coming to you as usual from the depths of the Lancashire countryside here in the UK, and today as promised, here is the second and final part of my interview with Adeyinka Makinde. And just in case you didn’t hear the first part last week, let me just introduce my guest: Adeyinka Makinde. Adeyinka trained as a barrister and is a lecturer in criminal law and public law at a university in London. His research interests are in intelligence and security matters. And he is regularly published online and has served as a programme consultant for BBC World Service Radio, China Radio International and the Voice of Russia. Now of course if you didn’t hear that first part, I highly recommend that you do, because obviously the two parts are a whole and references are made in the second part and depend on one having listened to the first part. So please do go back and listen to that one if you already haven’t heard it. So in the first part we spoke about more recent years as we were talking about Adeyinka’s recent essay “The Pan-Islamic Option: The West’s Part in the Creation and Sustaining of Islamic Terror.” In the second part we turn our attention to the slightly more distant past –slightly more distant- and discuss some of the indications earlier in the 20th century of the West’s use, and to some extent, the West’s manufacture of violent Islamism for its own various geopolitical agendas. So we pick up there with the question I left hanging in the air last time. And one of the first places you go to in your discussion is Germany. You start by looking at Heinrich Himmler giving a 1944 speech where he is basically saying that Islam is ideal. “If you’re going to be a soldier, well, why not be an Islamist. And you also go back to Kaiser Wilhelm’s views of Muslims as “good for guerrilla warfare.” So do you want to tell us about Germany’s cultivation of Islamism for the purposes of war?

Adeyinka Makinde: Yes, I think that it may be a forgotten matter, except for those who are trained or educated in 20th century European history. But for the common person, perhaps their route to having knowledge of that German connection with the use of Islam as a weaponised force to achieve geopolitical aims was the John Buchan novel Greenmantle. That was a piece of British propaganda by a man who was actually associated with British intelligence. And it was actually based on fact, although loosely based on fact. With the Germans, it was a question of their needs during the First World War and the Second World War. And that link between Kaiser Wilhelm and the Third Reich – there was a link with a certain person named Max von Oppenheim. He came from the banking family. He was a diplomat, a lawyer, but when I say diplomat, he only managed to become an attaché because he was denied the status of a full diplomat because of his part-Jewish heritage. Oppenheim wrote on separate occasions at the start of the First and Second World Wars; he composed two famous memorandums known as Denkschrift, which were basically position papers in which he called on Germany to use the Islamic world in a war to help them win. So in the case of the First World War, it was about helping the Central Powers: the Kaiser’s Germany and Austria-Hungary to beat the blockade by the Western allies who were encircling them by undermining the British Empire. (This would be achieved by) getting the British colony of India to be set ablaze by Islamists and also Persia. And in the same way later on in July 1940, just after Britain had been beaten back from Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain was about to commence, he also brought up the idea that he had formulated decades earlier wherein the Germans should use Islamist guerrillas in North Africa and as they got closer to the Caucasus regions of the old Soviet Union -because Germany wanted to reach the oil fields of Baku before they were defeated in the Battle of Stalingrad- they wanted to use those Muslim societies to instigate rebellions against the Soviets, in order to help the German advantage.

JC: This is Oppenheim you’re saying-

AM: Yes, Max von Oppenheim.

JC: He straddles both of those periods of history of the First World War and Second World War.

AM: Yes.

JC: Was it he who was suggesting…you talk about pamphleteering; I think this was during Wilhelm’s time, to actually pamphleteer Muslims in British territories, and to actually incite them to form rebel cells and go out and kill Europeans in the name of Jihad. Was it his idea, do you think?

AM: The basic idea was his. Later on a policy was formulated. What he contributed to it and what he didn’t may be murky. But what did happen afterwards was a man named Oskar von Niedermayer, who was a soldier, he was an academic and a spy par excellence, led this contingent of Germans –along with the Ottomans, or these people who represented the successors of the Ottomans, known as the Young Turks who had seized power- on an expedition to Afghanistan, and the idea was to foment revolution. And part of the whole plan was apart from getting Afghanistan, which was a British protectorate to rebel, along that line were Turkey, where I said previously in regard to the contemporary circumstances of the Erdogan government, Turkey also had that pan-Turkic Dream, and they went along with it. The idea was, as you’ve correctly quoted was that they would create these bands of Muslim assassins who would set upon expatriate Western Christians to kill them or rise up against them in a way as occurred during the St. Bartholomew’s Massacre. It would be happening in areas of the Balkans through to Central Asia –all those areas that were within the British Empire; Muslim communities governed by the British Empire and in outlying areas. But there were problems with the logistics and the overall planning. It was all very well for the Germans to understand the Mohammedan faith to be one that was very stringent and aggressive. But it was another thing to understand the complexities of the different communities. For instance, they didn’t seem to factor in the difference between Sunnis and Shias. Who was going to obey that order? Would an imam from a different sect instruct another? Most unlikely. Also, if you do start that sort of insurrection, what’s there to tell the difference between a white Western European who is French or British from your Germanic allies? So it wasn’t particularly well-thought out. And in that battle, it has to be said, there was a parallel plan -which obviously won out- by the British through the personage of Lawrence of Arabia. But Oskar von Niedemayer was an extraordinary individual despite that failure. A number of the photographs he took on his lengthy journey all the way through Persia and Afghanistan are now UNESCO heritage photographs. He lost out and what basically happened it turned out that when he got to Afghanistan, the Emir kept him and his party waiting, the British upped the amount of money they paid to the Emir, because the Germans were offering him a certain amount of money. And when the British heard of that, they just upped their offer to him, and that was the end of that. But they (the Germans) did try, and if you recall they were to a certain extent successful when it came to Russia by using Bolshevism; you know, Lenin and the sealed train.

JC: Yes, you do mention that. I’ve heard that and I don’t really know too much of the detail of that. Not just him (Lenin), but I believe other revolutionaries were given safe passage across Germany to cause trouble essentially?

AM: Absolutely, it was part of this policy called revolutionspolitik  that was used to foment revolution in Russia. And the Bolsheviks did eventually seize power resulting in a lull in the fighting on Germany’s eastern front and the Brest-Litovsk Treaty and also the Ukraine. That wasn’t too successful, but Germany did declare the first modern Ukrainian state. Those actually came later. The blueprint was what we’re talking of about using weaponised Islamists to foment unrest in areas controlled by or adjoining the British Empire. It was a real geo-strategic policy. And before we move on, it is worth talking about ‘blowback’ which will feature in each of these adventures in Libya, in Syria, in Afghanistan –Operation Cyclone. The blowback was that Bolshevism was successfully established in Russia, but what happened later on was that Stalinist Russia; the Soviet Union, was the power that defeated Germany in the Second World War.

JC: Yes, we will come back to this notion of blowback. Of course, it depends on which angle you’re coming at. I mean when we talk about blowback I regard to terrorism happening in the West as a consequence of warfare in the Middle East, that can be criticised as an analysis if it taken in a one-dimensional way that every terrorist attack is as a result of blowback, because it can obscure deeper questions you are asking in this very piece itself as to what extent intelligence agencies themselves may be actually involved in abetting some of these acts. So if we put everything down to blowback, that can obscure that and this is what Tom Secker criticises about relying on that explanation entirely. Maybe we’ll come back to that in a bit. When we turn back to Heinrich Himmler, I wasn’t aware of just how many Muslim soldiers he’d managed to build into these SS divisions. It was hundreds of thousands, apparently. I didn’t realise that it was anything like that.

AM: Yes, I think those who have studied the Third Reich even in a cursory manner may be aware of a picture of these Bosnian Muslim soldiers with Fezzes and they are reading a book in German. Its translation is Judaism and Islam. Himmler was interested in Islam in the sense that Islam was this practical religion which a soldier could understand. What are you dying for? Of course, the Nazis were about the expansion of German territory, German glory, getting rid of the Bolsheviks; that sort of thing. But what do you get in return? And certainly for someone who is about to die, that is a very important consideration. And I think what Himmler was doing was contrasting Christian theology with the Islamic one. People are now familiar with the promise of 72 virgins for the soldier who dies in the cause of spreading Islam.

JC: But there is an inherent weakness there it seems to me that can be exploited. It seems to me that what we’re discussing here is the rather cynical exploitation of that weakness within Islam. You say that’s something that can be debated at the beginning of your essay in fact.

AM: Yes, in terms of Islam as a religion as a whole. But the issue of how it affects a soldier; motivates them, I think what Himmler was thinking about was the paganism he hoped to impose on Germany over the course of time and I think that he realised that it would take a lot of time for Catholicism and Protestantism to die out. But they wanted it (Christianity) supplanted, and that aspect of Islamic religious ideology was in sync with Norse mythology. In Norse mythology you have the valkyries who select who will live and who will die in battle, and these maidens will take those dead to Valhalla; the preserve of the god Odin. In fact, there is a painting of Otto von Bismarck, the creator of the Prussian Empire, The Apotheosis of Bismarck where you see him being carried into the heavens by these maidens or valkyries.

JC: Yes, the Nazis did have an eye for mythology and how useful it could be in their aims.

AM: Absolutely. And congruent to that was that another half of the dead soldiers would be under the preserve of the goddess Freyja, who had this great field for the martyred soldiers in the Folkvangr, that is the “great field (of armies). And she’s the goddess of sex, beauty, fertility, so Himmler could see that congruence with Islamic theology and the way it could motivate soldiers. I must say that both Hitler and Himmler –particularly when the war was coming to an end- did ruminate on whether they could have used more Muslim soldiers, because there was a feeling that they did not use them enough in North Africa and as they approached the Caucuses. In their racial thinking, they referred to Christianity as basically an off-shoot of Judaism in regard to which they obviously had an antipathy. They felt it (Christianity) was weak. Hitler and Himmler actually felt that it would have been a good idea to have had Europe Islamicised and that the spread of Islam should not have been stopped at the Battle of Tours. They felt it was this practical religion that met the daily needs of not just the society, but the soldier in battle.

JC: Fascinating. What role do you think this guy called Mohammed Amin al-Husseini played in all this? He was the first Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. I understand that he was onboard with the Nazis because of his anti-Semitism etcetera, and he and spoke with Hitler and Himmler, and out of that came this mass recruitment of Muslim soldiers. What kind of impact do you think he had on that kind of thinking that you were just talking about?

AM: I’m not aware of how much it was. He certainly did go to the Germans essentially on the premise of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. We have to remember that although the insurgents in Palestine who were fighting for a Jewish state decided to ceasefire and join the British Army, some elements in Zionism were equally minded to join forces with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. This is Yair Stern of the infamous Stern Gang. So all these issues do factor in there. But I’m not too knowledgeable about what impact the Mufti practically had, but the Germans certainly in the First World War and in the Second World War did establish these camps for Islamic soldiers where their needs were catered to; both dietary and religious, and they were trained to serve within the ranks of the German armed forces.

JC: It’s fascinating and complicated –one has to qualify everything that’s said. Let’s turn to Britain then. You’ve got some examples of British use and indeed cultivation of Islamic forces during the days of empire, and while I was looking at the background of this I turned to Mark Curtis’ book Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, which I recommend for a catalogue of examples that are very well documented and articulated. I haven’t yet finished reading it, but I’m finding it compelling. So you mention the Ikwan Army under Ibn Saud, who I believe became the first king of Saudi Arabia, and the British made use of this Ikwan Army to weaken the Ottoman’s hold on the Arabian area, and that the British did that inspite of Churchill’s description of these people as “bloodthirsty”, “intolerant”, “austere” and the quotation goes on “as an article of duty and an article of faith to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children, but Churchill says, “That’s fine, we’ll use them”.

AM: Absolutely. The British did use two distinct forces in the Arabian Peninsula. One was Ibn Saud. And the Ikwan, given their ruthlessness, were absolutely effective. They were made for purpose for what Britain wanted to achieve, that is, the defeat and dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire. The other person who was involved was the Sharif of Mecca. His name was Hussein bin Ali. And just to fast forward slightly, Hussein bin Ali was the (great) grandfather of King Hussein of Jordan. So the long story was that the British who did use the Ikwan and Ibn Saud’s forces to pacify that region effectively rewarded him with this new nation state which bore his name. But they also hedged their bets on the alternative man, Hussein, the Sharif of Mecca -the Hashemite family- and they were eventually defeated by Ibn Saud and chased to Jordan and Iraq where they formed the royal families. But again it shows you how these Islamic ideologues can be used for military purposes. I mean they weren’t going about (things) in the manner General Clark would describes things: “Let’s get recruitment on here”; no, your best bet was to go for those who are the most fanatical. And of course, one distinction which could be made between Ibn Saud and Hussein was that Ibn Saud was a Wahhabist, and they have a particularly puritan understanding of Islam, and indeed that ideology forms the underpinnings of what we understand to be global Islamist terror in this day and age. We can trace that ideology to Ibn Saud’s use of the Ikwani as soldiers against the Ottomans in Britain’s interest.

JC: Yes, and I think that you having said what you’ve just said there, people would –some people anyway, probably not listening to this programme- but some people would be surprised to hear Churchill apparently later writing “my admiration for him...” –that is, Ibn Saud- “…was deep because of his unfailing loyalty to us.”

AM: Of course! If you do the bidding for a particular power, that’s wanted. They want practical, straightforward allies, or better, vassals to do their bidding, and that is what British hegemony was about, and what the new American imperium that started in the second half of the 20th century was all about and continues to be all about until this very day. They are useful soldiers, and as we’ve seen –not to trivialise it- almost like a travelling show. They’ve been in Chechnya, then sent to Libya, from Libya they were transferred to Syria where there is a stalemate and they are being defeated. But the idea was that after Syria, they would be transferred to Central Asia to harass the borders of the Russian Federation and also China’s Muslim population (would be used to foment unrest).

JC: How does the Muslim Brotherhood fit into this story? Their name crops up fairly frequently, but I find them confusing as an organisation. My understanding is that they were founded in the late 1920s in Egypt. They are a pan-Islamic, not nationalist. They are a Sunni organisation and at least officially renounce violence but are considered a terrorist organisation by various countries, but I understand not by the US or the UK. But they have this kind of ambivalent relationship with the British Empire, but they did have some sort of relationship with the British very soon after their founding in the late 1920s. What was that relationship like?

AM: That’s absolutely correct. I am not a major expert on that, but in terms of the train of events; they have been relatively consistent allies of British intelligence and the deep state. The only interval was when you had the Arab revolt in Palestine between 1936 and 1939. But other than that, there has been this relationship that has fed in at various times. At the beginning in the 1920s and 30s, it was about using the Muslim Brotherhood as a means of keeping order in the areas that Britain had acceded to after the overthrow of the Ottoman Empire; given that they now ruled or had influence over certain created states such as Jordan and Palestine. But it’s much clearer after that period of time and particularly when the Americans come to (global) power, in the sense that they are used to harass those political forces or organisations who are against British interests in that area of the world. My knowledge of the Muslim Brotherhood between the late 20s, when it was created, and the 50s is not particularly large. It’s once the Americans come into the picture that it takes on a different picture.

JC: Sure. But for that picture which you excepted, would you say that they generally, with respect to their relationship with British Intelligence, would have been in resisting nationalist movements in the Middle East, where those nationalist movements would be perhaps be threatening British control of resources like oil, do you think that that’s essentially how they were used?

AM: Yes, that is essentially right. That blueprint which was established then was what the Americans then inherited after.

JC: O.K. let’s turn to the Americans. Perhaps the most famous of these is Operation Cyclone of 1979, with the CIA funding and training Afghan Mujahideen to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. This goes through the 1980s for a full decade. You mention this in the article, and you say that this was essentially the project of President Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski who of course died not that long ago. That was a hugely significant operation was it not in this narrative that we’re discussing. It seems like a huge turning point at which we can see the trajectory leading to 9/11.

AM: Yes, that’s true. I mean it’s important to get a little background, because as I do mention in the article, the relationship between the American government and the Muslim Brotherhood dates back to the era of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and during that period in the 1950s and the 1960s, although a lot of the people who actually were part of the CIA that was created from the Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War were Arabists, American policy was against secular nationalist Arab governments rising such as that of Gamal Abdel Nasser, and so what the Muslim Brotherhood were used as were as saboteurs. This idea that they are not violent is of course not true. They infiltrated –where they could- Nasser’s security apparatus, the civil service, and they committed acts of sabotage and effectively aided the West in undermining Nasser.

JC: Was it not a Muslim Brotherhood person who attempted to assassinate him?

AM: That’s right. But it’s important to link it to what we want to talk about in Afghanistan and 9/11. It’s important to bring up the name of Sayyid Qutb, this philosopher who effectively is the inspiration for al-Qaeda and certainly influenced Osama bin Laden’s mentor Ayman al-Zawahiri.

JC: So Qutb; this is the guy who…he was an Egyptian?

AM: That’s right.

JC: And he spent time in the US and was appalled by what he considered to be the materialism of the West and that heavily influenced Osama bin Laden?

AM: Absolutely. The utter decadence to him in terms of what he considered to be the relationship between men and women in Western individualistic society. Nasser did spare his life for a while, but he was executed by Nasser, so he turns out to be a martyr of sorts. It may be a complicated feature, but it’s worth drawing a distinction between the Muslim Brotherhood, that Egyptian-originated organisation, (and) Wahhabism. And I think that this is a bit of the background to the recent history of Egypt and the overthrow of the government that came after the so-called Arab Spring. The Muslim Brotherhood professes non-violence, but that’s not true. They also are apparently believers in democracy. And that’s a fundamental distinction between their brand of Islamic fundamentalism and Wahhabism, this puritan authoritarian regime which may accommodate the idea of having a king as the Saudis do, or having a caliph at the head of it. So that is at least one minor distinction that we can make. When we go over to Afghanistan, we’re not necessarily dealing with people who subscribe to the Muslim Brotherhood philosophy exclusively. They were Islamic fundamentalists influenced by all sides including Wahhabism.

JC: O.K. so turning back to Afghanistan. There is some debate as to whether this policy of Operation Cyclone was a means of fighting a proxy war against the Soviets so as to draw them into their Vietnam, so to speak; to bleed them dry, or whether this was essentially a way of fighting Afghan Communism, now that Afghanistan was now communist, just as part of the so-called Cold War in general, and then seeing an opportunity to bleed Russia dry. There seems to be some ambiguity there as to what was intended with this Operation Cyclone. What’s your view about it?

AM: I think it was fundamentally about combating Soviet communism and its manifestation in Afghanistan. But those who propound the view –led by the late Brzezinski himself- do say that it was a pre-designed ploy to lure them in there to meet these Mujahideen. I think it’s something that will continue to be debated; I don’t think it can be definitively said. But as the policy developed throughout the 1980s, the invasion occurred in 1979, and of course, there was the transfer of the Carter administration to the Reagan administration and there was no change in that. The fundamentals was that America urged Saudi Arabia to provide funding; (they also urged) the Pakistanis under their strongman leader Zia ul-Haq to also provide logistics, and the Americans would also provide funding and train these jihadists known as the Mujahideen to fight the Soviet invasion. And I think as time went on, it became clear that this was something that could bleed the Soviet Union dry. The Americans could understand “Ahh, this is looking like what we encountered in Vietnam, and these Afghan warriors even going back to pre-Islamic times at the time of Alexander the Great, nobody has ever managed to totally tame them or pacify them or conquer them, we could be onto something”. The policy definitely germinated into one in which the Soviet Union would be sufficiently weakened.

News Reporter: (Sound of helicopter buzzing) US National Security Advisor Brzezinski flew to Pakistan to set about rallying resistance. He wanted to arm the Mujahideen without revealing America’s role. On the Afghan border near the Khyber Pass, he urged the ‘Soldiers of God’ to re-double their efforts.

Zbigniew Brzezinski: We know of their deep belief in God and we are confident that their struggle will succeed. (Afghan voice speaking, presumably translating Brzezinski’s words to a listening audience) That land over there is yours. You’ll go back to it one day because your fight will prevail, and you’ll have your homes and your mosques back again because your cause is right and God is on your side. (Sound of hand clapping).

JC: Yes, as I said to you before the interview, I think it’s a bit of a red herring worrying too much about what the original intention was here, and what we’re to make of what Brzezinski’s said in various interviews, reports of him having said one thing in an interview and having denied it in other places. A bit of a red herring because it ended up being this sending of Afghan Mujahideen as proxies for what the West wanted to do. And they were being radicalised by the West. I have information here from Nafeez Ahmed’s excellent book The War on Truth where, I’ll quote from him: “Central to the US-sponsored operation was the attempt to manufacture an extremist religious ideology by amalgamating the local Afghan feudal traditions with Islamic rhetoric” and then, he’s quoting from a mainstream newspaper here: “Predominant themes were that Islam was a complete socio-political ideology , but Holy Islam was being violated by the atheistic Soviet troops, and that the Islamic people of Afghanistan should assert their independence by overthrowing the leftist Afghan regime propped up by Moscow”. Nafeez continues, “Among the myriad of policies designed to generate the desired level of extremism, the U.S. funded to the tune of millions of dollars the production and distribution in Afghanistan of school textbooks promoting the war values of murder and fanaticism.” And this is quoting here from the Washington Post: “The primers which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines and have served since then as the Afghan school systems core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American produced books.” Nafeez continues, “The Post cited anonymous U.S. officials admitting that the textbooks steeped generations in violence.” So that’s quite damming. In fact, it’s very damming, is it not? It is not just the use of proxies but the cultivation of extremism itself for the purposes of this, so that your boys were not getting killed, but someone else’s was, and you’re actually creating this monster yourself.

AM: Yes, that is an absolutely amazing extract. Again, it goes towards those Western notions –what we discussed earlier on with regard to the Germans and the British Empire about harnessing Islam wherever you can and the fundamentalist tendencies to do battle, to be rigid and be capable of accomplishing a particular goal with a fanatical mindset. On the one hand, yes, it was predicated on a racial, disparaging form of Orientalism, but of course there is a reality to that as well. As General Clark said himself in that CNN interview that you mentioned earlier. What is also interesting is that Pakistan was involved and Britain was involved. I’m sure that you’re aware of that quote by Margaret Thatcher when she visited the Afghan border with Pakistan on a state visit with General (Zia) ul-Haq where she..

JC: ...She said “God is with you” or something like that.

AM: Yes, “the hearts of the free-loving world are with you”; words to that effect. And these are the forebears of the Taliban.

Margaret Thatcher: …trying to destroy your religion, your way of life and your independence. I want to say that the hearts of the free world are with you and with those of your countrymen.

AM: So absolutely harnessing that fundamentalist aspect of Islam has time and again being crucial. Now you go back, and I’m sure that it will be mentioned in Mr. Curtis’ book that Britain was involved, America was involved, but it’s not well know that Israel was also involved. Israel also had a motivation for undermining the Soviet Union because although it was the first country to offer the created State of Israel de facto recognition, what transpired later on was to set in motion this belief that the Soviet Union was an enemy of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. And that has to do with the Stalinist purges, the ‘Doctors’ Plot’ and the attacks on Jews in the Soviet Union who it was felt had a divided loyalty between the State of Israel and the Soviet Union. And then also as time transpired, the Soviet Union was the backer of many Arab liberation organisations including the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. And so for that reason, while Ehud Barak was the head of Aman, Israeli (military) intelligence during that time in the early 1980s, Israel offered support to the most virulent, anti-Western militia. It was known as Hezb-e-Islami Mujahideen and they were headed by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. They were supplied with weapons Israel had acquired from the war in Lebanon, which was to purge Lebanon of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. And so Gulbuddin, as time went on after the Afghan War had ended, fell out with his Saudi sponsors. But in due course, those members of his organisation, a number of them, were transformed into the Taliban. So that’s a useful quote that you mention there. Of course, the Afghan people by heritage are warlike. But if you add this idea of Islamic fundamentalism, and in particular Wahhabism to it, you have a really potent brew and it’s no surprise that many people posit what transpired in Afghanistan –this support militarily, educationally- this is what has now led to the global Islamist movement represented by al-Qaeda and off-shoots like Jabhat al-Nusra and the so-called Islamic State.

JC: It’s an incredibly complex tapestry indeed. Now it’s often said of course that the West has created Islamic extremism. That’s not really true from the conversation we’re having here, but there’s no doubt that it has fanned the flames of that tendency to an incredible extent. So there is some truth in that statement is there not even though it has been exaggeration?

AM: Yes, it’s harnessed it, is the best way to say it. It’s there and it’s dormant. The West did not create it, but they have facilitated it.  They’ve harnessed it.

JC: Well, just before we finish, I want to look very briefly at the other wing of this that you bring up. So this was your concern over the way in which known terrorists are found to have been monitored by the intelligence agencies for quite some period of time; months, years and it seems like a blind eye is turned to them, especially if they go and fight for what the government think is the right causes then they end up committing, or allegedly committing terrorist acts in the West, or perhaps even serving as patsies; manipulated by some kind of Gladio-like operation -maybe we’ll talk about that briefly as a possibility. So this concern over what you might call intelligence failures, are they always intelligence failures, or are we looking at sometimes the case where a so-called intelligence failure is a success; it was supposed to fail, and these individuals were supposed to carry out these attacks. What’s your general impression of this whole murky area?

AM: Well my view is that, yes, the intelligence world has those conventional features that much of the public tend to understand. People who monitor things, people who report on things, people who turn into spies. But there is a dark art to intelligence. There is a murky side. One that is Machiavellian. Totally immoral. You may actually come across situations where intelligence services are creating false flags. There is a Turkish general who once admitted that during the troubles in Cyprus, the Turkish military blew up mosques in order to blame it on Christian Cypriots. So what I put into that write-up that I did was the Salman Abedi story going back to what we discussed about Libya and the overthrow of Gaddafi, Manchester, where Abedi came from is the home of a small but distinguishable Libyan exile population. They were exiled while Gaddafi was in power. And with the coming of the ‘War on Terror’, you had people who were under Control Orders; that is a form of house arrest under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and these people were offered a deal: You can remain in the position you’re in now or we will release you; we will grant you passports if you fight Colonel Gaddafi. So that’s the first thing. They are going against the rules of the game. With Abedi, we don’t have enough evidence about his precise workings, but we do have that very important issue of Theresa May, the Prime Minister being contradicted by the FBI in America, because after the Manchester bomb went off, Theresa May claimed that Abedi had been a lone wolf, but the FBI report said no. It actually informed you (Britain) that this man was likely part of a North African cell, which was plotting the assassination of a high-ranking British official. So as it turned out, not accurate information, but information nonetheless. Yet, this man despite this warning had gone under the radar. It does give a lot of cause for concern.

JC: And brings up the question whether going under the radar is really going under the radar in some cases.

AM: Well, this is the thing, because we have examples in America with Tamerlane Tsarnaev, the man who along with his brother was figured for being the Boston Marathon bombers. We have Mohamed Merah, who was an Islamist, was suspected of being the shooter in the killings in Toulouse and Montauban. With Tsarnaev, the FBI denied that he was an agent of theirs, but an investigative journalist named Michele McPhee –she’s just written a book entitled Maximum Harm- she believes, like a lot of people do believe -because the FBI hasn’t released all the documents in its control- that Tsarnaev was an FBI agent, and that he may have gone rogue because he was denied American citizenship. In general terms, what one is conscious of is that anytime there is a terrorist outrage in North America or Western Europe, the question immediately is, “Should the laws be tightened up?” Therefore should rights and freedoms be taken away from the citizenry? And the other point obviously is military action: Should military action already in existence be escalated, or should this terrorist outrage become the basis of a fresh military intervention? I think at various points in time that it might be acting towards an agenda as we’ve seen in Italy where Operation Gladio was in effect and the investigations of Judge Filipe Casson and the revelations of the neo-fascist Vinciguerra that people were set up by the government to commit certain acts which would then influence the public mindset. Because what happens after these terror attacks is fear, rage and those emotions can then be used to form the basis of what we’ve just said: change in the law or effecting some form of military intervention. And what happened after Manchester? Apart from what has already transpired with these extraordinary powers for looking over peoples Internet communications, we’re having thoughts about internment such as occurred at the height of the Irish Troubles in the early 70s. We’re hearing about new forms of censorship on the Internet. So that cannot be ruled out. The evidence we have from history (provides a warning) –and it’s a very, very serious matter that should be discussed more in the public domain and not be dismissed.

JC: And of course the official position on Operation Gladio is that well it doesn’t exist anymore. Even if it did exist it doesn’t now. But then of course going back to those days it wasn’t officially known about anyway, so you could say that something’s going on today and that’s not known about either. I’ve no reason to believe that that does not continue in some form, and of course we had on this show before people are talking in terms of ‘Gladio B’. So really it brings us to something we did touch on in the beginning which was what you hold out as a possible solution to this. OK there needs to be this overhaul of Western foreign policy, and you suggest the only way that this is going to happen is if there are mass protests by people who actually understand what is happening or at least have well-defined questions, so that when they hear things on the news, there’re saying well, “is that really the truth?” And are then thinking in these kinds of ways; asking these kinds of questions and protesting in some form. And also bringing –this is the second arm of what you suggest political pressure on the Establishment. So what do you have in mind here? What kind of protest and what kind of pressure?

AM: Well I think that the public are sufficiently informed today or have the means to be informed to understand what we’ve discussed throughout this interview about this overarching policy of the West utilising Islamic fanatics to do their bidding in terms of achieving Western geopolitical objectives and that these have had poor ramifications in terms of refugees and the commission of acts of terror.

JC: You say “have the means to be informed”, but by and large I find in the people I speak to in ordinary life that they haven’t got this consciousness even though many of the things we’ve referred to here today are in mainstream publications. You would think the people would be aware, and yet I find personally a lot of people are not aware.

AM: I think there’s enough information there and certainly because of the nature of the corporate press, you’ll very rarely find someone who joins the dots together. So I guess what I’m saying, is that information is there, you know, General Clark who we’ve referred to, issues to do with Operation Cyclone –they’re there in the mainstream press, but very rarely is it put together. It’s only put together by voices outside of the mainstream press. And that’s tragic because I think that knowledge; that consciousness could create a public movement that is not predicated on your ideological persuasion, which takes us back to the beginning of our conversation, namely the way these issues; the effects are used for ideological football in the United States, you know, the Democrats versus the Republicans, whereas the public should be getting together irrespective of that and pressuring their legislators through their constituencies and also the creation of movements; mass movements as we used to see in the past will call for this policy to stop. The only one that comes to mind is Stop the War which is something considered to be a preserve of those on the left. We want something that has more universal appeal. And when we talk about Stop the War, it’s not just direct military action, which is obvious to see, but these covert means by which the intelligence services give support. So that is for the public. For the politicians, you would expect that they are well-informed enough to understand these things. But again they do not take it further in terms of the questions that are asked in Parliament. You know, when Hillary Benn stands up there and criticizes, and then says we should then send the Royal Air Force and its six planes to bomb northern Syria, people have to think “Well, hang on, hasn’t Britain played a part in (this disaster)? Didn’t the Guardian and other Western papers report that British and French soldiers in the early part of the Syrian conflict were at the borders with Jordan and countries like that offering training to any rebels? That’s illegal to plot to overthrow a foreign government and so we should be having Parliamentary inquiries into this, but the politicians do not seem to be able to accomplish that, and I think that that’s another interview as to why that is the case.

JC: Well indeed, there seems to be an acceptable sphere of public discourse and the kind of things that we’ve talked about today –even though they’re there in this compartmentalised way in the mainstream media sources cannot be discussed as you say in this joined-up way for fear of being considered a conspiracy theorist, you know, somebody who is ‘supporting’ the terrorists –all these accusations come out. I find it difficult to see how we can move beyond that. And you have the other difficulty within –I’ve been talking to G. Edward Griffin fairly recently about the truth movement and how that has achieved certain things and in other respects has its problems. There’s all that difficulty there in some cases muddying the waters. Before we had this interview, I was mentioning to you the fact that when the Manchester bombing happened, there were all these people coming out saying that it was a hoax. It didn’t actually happen. It was all fake. And I was immediately hit by that because I have relatives who live over the road from people who lost children in that particular attack. So I know it wasn’t fake. And yet we have some of these narratives being generated within what you might call the truth movement in this very broad sense muddying the waters causing this kind of disruption so that people can look upon that and say that anybody who is considering anything outside of this acceptable sphere of discourse is a nutcase so therefore people will not venture even into the reasonable things we’ve be talking about today for fear of that accusation. How is it possible to move beyond that?

AM: All I can say is that those within what may be termed ‘Alternative Media’; that is, those who are not controlled by the demands of academic funding or political party allegiance or the power of certain lobbies; they should really just focus on the points that are indisputable and those that are of logical imputation. That’s all I can suggest at the moment because it’s muddied on all accounts: an insouciant public, what can you do about that? Ineffectual politicians, what can you do about that? And we know about journalists –that word “presstitute”, what an invention! That does really sum up the lack of courage among those who are in the profession of journalism. And so those factors should also be taken into account when we look at the truth movement for these people probably through laziness, or some people allege that they are actually agents who sow disinformation. It’s not helpful, so all we can do in our writing is essentially to focus on the rational argument looking at solid historical and contemporary back up to it. It’s important when we also discuss these issues where the mainstream fear to tread, we also make a note that things are compartmentalized –and literally so in the intelligence services. These suspected false flags that may occur; it may not be the prime minister of the day arranging it. I doubt if Obama had as much to do with the coup in Ukraine as did Victoria Nuland and John McCain did. Do you see? What we talked about the ‘double government’ and the continuation of this policy regardless of...

JC: I’ve heard people talk in terms of there being a ‘double CIA’, a ‘double MI6’, but why not? That makes complete sense. I think at times, I have made the mistake of giving the impression when I’m talking of the Deep State, I mean the intelligence services, and I don’t really mean that. It’s easy to fall into that trap. What I mean is that web of deep inter-connections –very influential and powerful inter-connections- which will touch upon all sorts of structures within society, so that there will be people within particular organisations who are represented in that ‘deep state’ and there will be other people who know nothing about it at all. It’s completely opaque to them. It’s a very difficult thing to define. Is that the kind of thing you mean? That’s what I mean when I talk about the ‘deep state’.

AM: Yes, I think that the people who sponsor the politicians; corporations and the like, have an influence on these questions (on) whether certain countries are invaded and whether insurrections are started. It really only stands to reason that this is the case. And remember who sponsors these think-tanks, (including) those ones that are respectable: the Brookings Institute and the RAND Corporation, albeit that it is a right-wing body, but it is a prominent and influential body with affiliations with the US military going back a long period of time. But within security services, there is no question that you do even have competing factions within them. Unlike in Western Europe when after the Second World War, the West did appropriate figures from the Fascist and Nazi ancien regimes, and installed them to be heads of the security services, Britain had a more diffuse one. Because you had people from the left (and) you had people from the right. We know that from those defectors. And the story of Peter Wright, whose information may not have been reliable in some ways, but I think there was an element in MI5 –not the whole of MI5- who were working towards the destabilisation of Harold Wilson’s government, and that that segment within MI5 joined forces with bits of military intelligence; specifically the one that was operating out of Northern Ireland and developed Operation Clockwork Orange, which was this disinformation campaign against certain prominent British political figures. I mean this is all fact. And so that compartmentalization does occur. As I was telling you before the interview, I did get a message through one of my websites from somebody who has a managerial post in NATO; a former US Army officer, and in regard to my article on the Manchester bombing on whether it was criminal negligence or something more sinister, he informed me that a member of his staff had reached more or less the same conclusions that I had in my article, but that they had not put it in their final report. He was just interested in what I had to say. So it’s a very murky area.

JC: That is quite an amazing thing to happen. Very revealing. So we’re nearing the end of our conversation, so if there’s anything you’d like to stress for people listening today, what would that be?

AM: There’s ‘blowback’ to re-emphasize to the public at large; look at the blowback that has occurred and that should reinforce this idea that your rights and freedoms are always under threat and military intervention is always on the line. It’s time to stop. Let’s have some sort of a public conscious mass effort through groups that have been created for the express purpose of putting pressure to stop this decades –centuries-long policy that is utterly cynical in its nature and execution…

JC: Well let me come back to you about this business about blowback. You recall what I mentioned about what Tom Secker said about it that it is only a partial explanation. So if you use it as perhaps the main way of getting people to oppose war as a means of understanding why terrorism is happening at home. Is there not a danger of feeding into the problem that we’re trying to overcome; this circumscribed sphere of discourse. It’s OK to talk about blowback (but) it’s not OK to talk about the possibility that some faction in you security services might be aiding and abetting this. If you just concentrate on blowback, you’re creating the conditions under which this is perpetuated.

AM: We don’t just focus on blowback. Yes, we need to keep on disseminating the whole picture but (refer to) blowback as a reminder that these compartmentalized discussions that are had over immigration, refugees; should the law be tightened up in regard to the Internet –(that) these are not taken in isolation as one act of terrorism, but the wider picture should always be borne in mind. Also just to add to what we’re discussing about the issue of oversight by politicians. Again, I think that there is that element of compartmentalization, because after Gladio, there were some legislative commissions set up in a number of Western European countries, but it was very, very limited and eventually swept under the carpet. And the same thing in the United States. Just one of those suspect bombings –acts of terror in the name of Islam- was subject to congressional oversight. That was the one to do with the Boston Marathon bombing and Tamerlane Tsarnaev. There was a congressional inquiry and it did find that the FBI missed many chances –not just one- several chances to actually catch him. But that was just compartmentalized. It doesn’t link into the wider picture, for instance in regard to that report by Human Rights Watch in coordination with Columbia University Law School and its human rights institute, which said that all but four of the Islamic terrorist incidents to have occurred in the United States since 9/11 –for a ten year period- were to do with FBI sting operations. That would actually encompass issues of not just blowback, but the whole strategy of how informants are being handled. And if we had that kind of scrutiny in a more coherent, dedicated fashion, then I think we might have less of this problem. If it’s a problem of negligence or if it’s a problem of (inaudible) there might be some method or reason for taking people off the radar.

JC: Which is why conversations like this are extremely important. And there needs to be more of them, no matter how challenging they are to engage with or even to prepare for, because there is so much information her, it is important that these conversations are had because they create this narrative, they create this broad picture which does inform a different way of looking at the events that are happening in the world and it is so important that people do have that broad picture otherwise it remains compartmentalized in our minds. All these little things are joined together and they can therefore be put into categories that are conducive to a normal understanding of what’s going on when in fact it may be an abnormal reality that we’re facing here. And as you say, conversations based on the evidence that is there, not just conjecture, these kinds of evidence-based conversations, I think, are vital and I thank you very much indeed Adeyinka for coming back to have such a conversation. I am amazed at your erudition and the way you can recall this information on the spot so well, it’s a delight and a privilege to speak to you and I thank you very much for coming back on the programme. And I very much hope that people enjoyed this and will have learnt from it. Also that they will follow some of the links that I will put, well many links I will put in the show notes to back up; to evidence a lot of the things that have been said here today. Thank you very much Adeyinka for coming on again.

AM: Thank you Julian, it was a pleasure.

© The Mind Renewed and Adeyinka Makinde (2017).



Thursday, 15 August 2019

Adeyinka Makinde Interviewed on The Mind Renewed: The Pan-Islamic Option (Part One: Recent Years)

TMR 180: Adeyinka Makinde: The Pan-Islamic Option (Part One: Recent Years)

PART 1

The first part of a wide-ranging interview with Julian Charles of The Mind Renewed about my essay, “The Pan-Islamic Option: The West’s Part in the Creation and Sustaining of Islamist Terror”. This segment focused in recent policies followed by the West through which weaponised Islam is used as a tool in seeking geo-political advantage. But this has come with huge moral, financial and security costs.

Julian Charles: Hello everybody! Julian Charles here of The Mind Renewed dot Com coming to you as usual from the depths of the Lancashire countryside here in the UK, and today I’m delighted to welcome back to the programme the lawyer and university lecturer Adeyinka Makinde, who joined us last year to discuss his academic article, “Can the British State Convict Itself?” Adeyinka trained for the law as a barrister and lectures in criminal law and public law at a university in London, and has research interests in intelligence and security matters. He is regularly published online writing on international relations, politics and military history, and has served as a program consultant and provided expert commentary for BBC World Service Radio, China Radio International and the Voice of Russia. Adeyinka, thank you very much for coming back on the programme.

Adeyinka Makinde: Thank you; it’s a pleasure Julian.

JC: Well, it’s great to have you on for a second time; I’m glad that I didn’t put you off the first time. Well, this time we’re going to be talking about the subject of one of your recent articles on your blog, and indeed published at globalresearch.ca. I’ll just mention your blog while we’re in passing –Adeyinkamakinde.blogspot.co.uk – and the article which caught my eye you called “The Pan-Islamic Option : The West’s Part in the Creation and Development of Islamist Terrorism”, which is obviously a very disturbing subject, but one that I’m sure the majority of people listening to this program will have some familiarity with given the coverage of themes like this in the Alt Media in general, and, indeed, our previous conversations with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts and, of course, James Corbett, who talked to us about the rise of ISIS a couple of years back, and perhaps I should also mention, because I was very pleased with this particular conversation, Dr. Daniele Ganser on Operation Gladio. So I do recommend people do go and check that out, because I’m quite sure that Gladio will come up in this conversation. What struck me about your article, Adeyinka, is that it is extremely helpful in pointing out with many, many examples just how long this problem – the West’s cultivation of Islamist terror for various geopolitical purposes– has been going on. So, before we get onto the detail of this, perhaps you could tell us what your motivation was for penning an article like this?

AM: Well, the immediate motivation was discovering a meme, which had been circulating on social media, declaring Obama, the “Muslim President”, as being responsible for ISIS and that Hilary Clinton is the “godmother” of ISIS, and I thought I doubt very much that Mr. Obama is a Muslim, but I can see it’s part of this ideological and cultural warfare in America where people seek to blame each party for the ills associated with the American Republic in contemporary  times, but how narrow it is. People should know better given the access to media they have to show that this was more of a long-standing issue, an over-arching issue, which transcends the politician who holds power of the day. It may also be a deep state issue, and also it was really an accumulation of writings I had been doing for some time.

JC: Yes, as you say there is this polarization of opinion in the media and in the public as to whether the Right is to blame for what’s going on in the world today or the Left is to blame, and as you mention in the article a lot of debate about the nature of Islam itself, and you write in the article: “While each aspect of these debates are important in their own right, the compartmentalized nature of the discourse arguably serves as a useful device which distracts the public from grasping the broader picture.”  And I’m putting together your mention a moment ago of this phrase “the deep state” with the word that you use:”device”. Do you see this compartmentalization that we see in public discourse on these matters as a deliberate device by the deep state to divert people’s attention away from the real nature of these problems?

AM: Oh, I think it does serve that purpose and it’s possibly, very possibly an intended device. Certainly, whether migrants of Islamic persuasion from the Middle East are assimilable into Western Society is a genuine issue, maybe a sensitive one, but a genuine one nevertheless. We can, as we are mature people, separate the discourse of the rank racist from those who are interested in the whole economics of the matter about absorbing large amounts of immigrants or of cultural defence even, but the sad fact is that that aspect of the discourse succeeds in obfuscating the root cause of this wave of migrants on two levels, whether you’re talking about economic migrants, who are not affected by wars in the Middle East, or those who are affected by the wars in the Middle East, and the obfuscation is that the West has been involved in a prolonged policy of using Islamist militias to overthrow governments in the Middle East. So the West is responsible for wrecking whole nations and enabling the displacement of whole groups of people, and the idea is that if you in America and the United Kingdom and the rest of Western Europe can just focus on that problem that has been prevailing for some time, you will sort out these issues related to economic migration and other displaced persons seeking refuge in the EU. Stop bombing these lands, stop overthrowing governments and overturning societies. Therein we shall find some measure of a solution.

JC: So the two things you want people to be aware of is this long history of Western support for militant Islamic groups, and also to question very seriously when we hear of terrorists having been monitored by intelligence agencies, and you helpfully delve back into history in the West to find many examples that give us a broader picture of all this, and we’ll come to some of that history in a bit, but first let’s pause to consider some of the indications in more recent times of Western support for Islamist terror groups, or at least support by allies of the West, we’ll talk about to what extent each one of those applies: direct Western support and/or support by allies of the West. Let’s talk around that for a moment. You mention quite well known facts, but I think it’s important never to forget these facts, so they’re very much worth repeating. Remarks by former US Vice-President Joe Biden speaking at Harvard in 2014 and the words of General Wesley Clark interviewed on CNN in 2015. Now in a moment I’m going to be asking you for your reaction to those comments, but let’s just refresh people’s memories about those remarks by playing back a couple of clips, and in fact I’m going to be including quite a few clips during the course of this interview because I think it’s a good idea to have the words fresh in our minds while they’re being discussed, so the first clip here is of Joe Biden speaking at Harvard on October 2nd, 2014, and the second clip is of General Wesley Clark, who is a 4-Star US General and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000, and he’s being interviewed on CNN in February 2015.

Joe Biden: What my constant cry was that our biggest problem was our allies. Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks are our great friends, and I have a great relationship with Erdogan who I’ve just spent a lot of time with, the Saudis, the Emiratis et cetera. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of Jihadis coming from other parts of the world. Now, if you think I’m exaggerating, take a look. Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening all of a sudden everybody is awakened because this outfit called ISIL, which was al-Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space and territory in eastern Syria, worked with al-Nusra, who we declared a terrorist group early on, and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.

Wesley Clark: Look, it just got started through funding from our friends and allies because, as people will tell you in the region, if you want somebody who’ll fight to the death against Hezbollah you don’t put out a recruiting post or say sign up for us, we’re going to make a better world, you go after zealots and you go after these religious fundamentalists – that’s who fights Hezbollah – it’s like a Frankenstein.

JC: OK, so having listened to those again, what do you say they reveal? What do they tell us?

AM: Well, I think they tell us that there is an underlying policy, which is consistent regardless of who is in power. We’ll go back into the history in a moment, but in the recent history, say in the Cold War era, a policy that’s been consistent from the time of Bill Clinton, definitely from the George Bush era, and although Barak Obama was pledging to make a break with the past, he essentially continued those policies intact. Now, we really see those policies still continuing under Donald Trump. That does suggest there is an agenda that appears to be played out regardless of ideology, regardless of politics, and it does also have serious investigative journalistic confirmation. It also has serious academic research backing. There was a paper just a few years ago, which was turned into a small book called National Security and Double Government by an academic from Tufts University (named) Michael J. Glennon, and he was borrowing the phrase ‘Double Government’ from the famous British Constitutionalist from the 19th century Walter Bagehot, who spoke about effectively a parallel government, a government of self-interested civil servants and power interests, who control an agenda regardless of who is in power, and so what Michael J. Glennon did was to compare the policies of the Bush administration  - Bush Jr. – and the Obama administration, and what did he find? No change. And I think that segues into this issue of the West’s support and connivance with its allies over the use of Islamist proxies to overthrow Governments who do not meet Western approval.

JC: Do you think that’s something that happens pretty much everywhere? I mean, you know, when you talk about ‘Double Government’ or ‘Parallel Government’ of course I immediately think of things like the ‘Continuity of Government’ provisions in the US that people often talk about in relation to 9/11, and of course Operation Gladio itself here in Europe, which on this program that Daniele Ganser described as a kind of shadow NATO or hidden, parallel NATO. Do you think these kinds of power structures are to be found pretty much everywhere?

AM: I think it’s fair enough to say that there are always power brokers in every society. I think in every government set up that word ‘Deep State’ – it’s derived from a Turkish term – this fusion of military officials and gangsters dictated the way the government ran, much in the way that Propaganda Due, the pseudo-Masonic Lodge, operated in Italy. You go to literally any society. For instance in Nigeria, where I originate from, you had something called the ‘Kaduna Mafia’, which is the northern Muslim elite, who through successive military governments and the first civilian government played a huge part in the decision-making process in Nigeria, so I think in most societies you are likely to find this sort of set-up and arrangement.

JC: So, going back to those remarks we heard a few moments ago: they’re out there, they’re in the open, we have access to documents that talk about this kind of thing, which we’ll talk more about in a few minutes I’m sure, and we have other things like the Clinton emails, some of which again point in this kind of direction. Now this material is out there and yet very little seems to change, which makes me want to ask – I guess it’s more a statement of frustration than a question really – what’s been done to stop any of this?

AM: Well, from what I can tell very little. If you recall from the issue of Gladio when it was exposed by the then Prime Minister of Italy, Giulio Andreotti, there were only a few parliamentary enquiries in Europe, and then they were only limited – that’s to do with Gladio – so very little there, and in regard to what General Clark has said, despite the overwhelming evidence, press reports and position papers, the same can be said for Western Europe – the United States and Britain –  there’s been absolutely no enquiry, but that evidence is there. Wesley Clark after all was the man who revealed that there was this plan, just days after 9/11 when he was revisiting the Pentagon, to take out seven countries in five years and that was going according to the neo-conservative agenda, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

JC: Yes, absolutely indeed. I found that really quite eye-opening when I first heard that, and I still do even though I’ve heard it many times; I still find it very, very striking, and we’ve referred to that several times over the years here at TMR. But, let’s hear it once again, because I think it’s really important to continue refreshing our memories about these kinds of things. So this is Wesley Clark in conversation with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! speaking on March 2nd, 2007.

Wesley Clark: About ten days after 9/11 I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz, and I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the joint staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in and he said: “Sir, you’ve gotta come in and talk to me a second.” And I said: “Well, you’re too busy.” He said: “No, no”, he says, “We’ve made the decision to go to war with Iraq”. This was on or about 20th September. I said: “We’re going to war with Iraq, why?” He said: “I don’t know.” (general laughter from the audience). He said: “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” (more laughter) So, I said: “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said: “No, no”, he says: “there’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.”  He said: “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments”, and he said “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.” So, I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan, and I said: “Are we still going to war with Iraq?”, and he said: “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk, he picked up a piece of paper and he said: “I just got this down from upstairs from the Secretary of Defense’s office today, and this is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off with Iran. I said: “Is it classified?” He said: “Yes, Sir!” I said (yet more laughter from the audience) “Well, don’t show it to me.” I saw him a year or so ago and I said: “Do you remember that?” He said: “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo; I didn’t show it to you!”

AM: And we see those position papers actually predicting, and we see their fulfillment to this very day in terms of the countries that have been taken out: Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, an ongoing quest in which it looks as if they’ve being frustrated, but in all situations all roads lead to Iran. We talk about position papers, apart from the Project for a New American Century, and these two revelations by General Clark, you also have a paper from 2008 by the Rand Corporation, which is a well-known Right-wing think-tank long in existence. They produced a paper which was sponsored by the Pentagon, which was about the unfolding of the ‘Long War’, the role of the US Army and this ‘Long War’ that had to be waged in the Middle East, which had to do with preserving American power, and it’s very, very specific that one way in which the United States can maintain its power is to give support to these conservative monarchies in the Gulf – Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, for instance, and the other pliable nations presumably like Egypt and Jordan. You give support to them, but also make use of Salafists, Islamic radicals, and play upon the sectarian divide of Sunni and Shia. It actually says “fomenting”. I’m not quoting it word for word, but fomenting these problems in these zones where you can pit the Salafists against the Shias, that will keep them busy and will likely prevent terrorist outrages in the West as occurred on September 11th, and so all the signs are there. There are many others we could make a use of. Those who formulated the Project for a New American Century papers were also responsible for the document known as the Securing the Realm document that was presented to Binyamin Netanyahu in his first tenure as the Israeli Prime Minister in the mid-1990s, and it called for the rolling back of Syria and co-operation with “moderate” Arab and Muslim states like Jordan, which is effectively a protectorate of Israel, and Turkey, to challenge these recalcitrant regimes who are anti-West and anti-Israel. So, it’s out there, but, alas, there’s no sort of concerted conscientious move among the political classes, the society, to actually examine the realities of this policy, this overarching policy, and challenge it.

JC: And something of this Western support for Salafists did come out, did it not, into the mainstream media with the US Defense Intelligence Agency document 2012 that was obtained by Judicial Watch in 2015, and of course Mike Flynn had been in charge of the DIA during that time, 2012 to 2014, and he was challenged on this document in an interview? But, this document does say that the Gulf States, Turkey and the West desired to have a Salafist State develop in the Middle East, essentially for the purposes of going against Assad, for going against Syria. And let me quote it here. So, Section 8c headed: The Effects on Iraq, reads: “If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in Eastern Syria, Al Hasaka and Der Zor, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian Regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion, Iraq and Iran, and then to define what is meant by the ‘supporting powers’ we go to Section 7b, and there they are defined as: “On the other hand ‘Opposition Forces’ are trying to control the eastern areas – Al Hasaka and Der Zor – adjacent to the western Iraqi provinces of Mosul and Anbar, in addition to neighbouring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf States, and Turkey are supporting these efforts.” So there we have a definition of what the “supporting powers” means, so there it is. It seems, though, that Mike Flynn, as head of the DIA at the time, did flag this up to the Obama Administration, but they pretty much ignored it. In fact, he was asked in that interview if he thought that they turned a blind eye to his analysis and he replied: “I don’t know whether they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision, a willful decision.” So, let’s hear that. It’s quite a long excerpt, but I think it’s worth persevering with, because I think it’s very instructive. This is Mike Flynn interviewed on Al Jazeera in 2015 by Mehdi Hasan.

Mehdi Hasan: Many people would argue that the US actually saw the rise of ISIL coming and turned a blind eye, or even encouraged it as a counterpoint to Assad, and a secret analysis by the agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, in August 2012, said and I quote: “There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist -though it’s not secret anymore; it was released under FOI- Principality in eastern Syria and this is exactly what the Supporting Powers to the Opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian Regime.” The US saw the ISIL Caliphate coming and did nothing.

Mike Flynn: Yeah, I think that where we missed the point, where we totally blew it, I think, was in the very beginning. I mean we’re talking four years now into this effort in Syria. Most people won’t even remember it’s only been a couple of years of the Free Syrian Army – that movement – and where are they today? Al Nusra? Where are they today and how much have they changed? When you don’t get in and help somebody, they’re going to find other means to achieve their goals. And I think right now, what we have allowed is these extremist militants to come in.

Mehdi Hasan: Why did you allow them to do that General? You were in post; you were the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Mike Flynn: Yeah, right, right, those are policy issues.

Mehdi Hasan: This is a memo I quoted from . . . did you see this document in 2012? Did this come across your table?

Mike Flynn: Yeah, yeah, I paid very close attention to all . . .

Mehdi Hasan: So, when you saw this, did you not pick up the phone and say: “What on earth are we doing supporting the Syrian rebels?”

Mike Flynn: Sure, that kind of information is presented and...

Mehdi Hasan: And what did you do about it?

Mike Flynn: …those become argued about it.

Mehdi Hasan: Did you say: “We shouldn’t be supporting these groups?”

Mike Flynn: I did. I mean we argued about the different groups that were there, and we said, you know, who is it that’s involved here, and I will tell you that I do believe that the intelligence was very clear, and now it’s a matter of whether or not policy is going to be as clear and as defining and as precise as it needs to be, and I don’t believe it was.

Mehdi Hasan: Just a moment, you’re saying, just to clarify here, you’re saying today, today my understanding is, we should have backed the rebels. You’re saying in government you agreed with this…

Mike Flynn: We should have done more earlier on in this effort, you know, than we did. We…

Mehdi Hasan: But in 2012, three years ago, let’s just be clear for the sake of our viewers, in 2012 your agency was saying, quote: “The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Qaeda in Iraq are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” In 2012, the US was helping co-ordinate arms transfers to those same groups. Why did you not stop that if you’re worried about the rise of quote/unquote ‘Islamism’.

Mike Flynn: I hate to say it’s not my job, but my job was to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be, and I will tell you that it goes before 2012 when we were in Iraq and we still had decisions to be made before there was a decision to pull out of Iraq in 2011. I mean it was very clear what we were going to face.

Mehdi Hasan: Well, I admire your frankness, General. Let me just say before we move on, just to clarify once more, you are basically saying that even in government at the time, you knew those groups were around, you saw this analysis and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?

Mike Flynn: I think the Administration.

Mehdi Hasan: Did the Administration turn a blind eye to your analysis.

Mike Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision, I think it was a willful decision.

Mehdi Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafist, al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood amongst it?

Mike Flynn: A willful decision to do what they’re doing.

JC: He’s right there; it seems very clear that the Obama Administration was basically saying leave that alone, just leave that alone, that is policy.

AM: Absolutely, it’s all out there, and I think also that that particular document you mentioned, the DIA document that was discovered through the Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, also refers to the methodologies that would be used, so we can look to the past and we can actually look to the present. In other words, this whole idea about creating ‘safe zones’. Any time you hear that word ‘No Fly Zone’, we should be aware that that is a code for protecting Salafist insurgents and enabling their growth to overthrow a government, because that very technique, which was referred to in that paper, was used under the Right-to-Protect doctrine, so it was called when Gaddafi was overthrown when that uprising occurred in Benghazi, so the whole idea was that if the Libyan Air Force gets within range they will be bombed out of existence. And then we see it again being threatened while the Russians are there in Syria, it’s broached ‘No Fly Zone’, Aleppo ‘No Fly Zone’, using human suffering, genuine human suffering, as a fait accompli, but actually, really, it’s part of a devious plan to give these Salafists, Jihadists, the opportunity to wreak havoc and to overthrow governments not to the liking of the West. Let’s also be aware that there are interests that coalesce here, but ultimately it’s the West that is the deciding influence in things, so the Saudis, the Turks will not act without Western approval much in the same way as the Israeli Government, which has an interest in the destruction of Syria and the balkanization of the Arab world, also tends to rely … For instance, they don’t want to attack Iran independently, they want America to help them do that, so that coalescence of interests, which, for the Saudis, is about extending their realm of influence. That fight they had over the years with secular Pan-Arabism, which they effectively won after the Six Day War and the demise of Gamal Abdel Nasser and now the overthrow of Libya as Gaddafi and the Baathists ruler-ship in Iraq, they want to extend their influence, and also there was the issue of the oil pipeline going through Syria. There’s also that interest I mentioned about Israel being fundamentally predicated on the balkanization of the Arab world. Even before its creation, a necessary condition was the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, and then after the implementation of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, wherein the British and the French divided the Middle East into these artificial nation states, Israel has sought to have these nations further divided, and then of course you have Turkey; the Turks are interested in the oil pipeline because obviously they want to be the conduit between the Gulf and Western Europe.

JC: So this is the pipeline going from Qatar up through Syria into Turkey, rather than the alternative, which is going from Iran through Syria servicing Europe through that way?

AM: Absolutely. That’s right. So the Turks wanted to be involved with that, but Assad refused, and also it links into something I believe we’re going to discuss later on in terms of the connection between Turkey and its Ottoman predecessor with Germany, and that is to do with Turkish ambitions to establish some form of a pan-Turkic sphere of influence through central Asia right up to the border with China.

JC: Yes, indeed we will come to that. We will talk about Germany and the fact that it has had these kinds of relationships in the past. You mention Gaddafi and his overthrow in 2011, and that brings up the role of France and even Britain in this action. Do you want to say something about that?
         
AM: Absolutely. I think right from the beginning my understanding was that the action to overthrow Gaddafi was initiated by French intelligence, and I think that has been actually to a certain degree confirmed. Nicolas Sarkozy was involved in that, but also once that decision was made, and Britain became involved with America acting as a guarantor and its naval power in the Mediterranean supported operations; once that was agreed upon and things fell into place and the overarching issues of overthrowing certain governments then came into play, so the French were involved there, particularly with the use of their air force, but also the British were involved there in a way which is fairly clear-cut compared to some of these other insurgencies we will talk about, because we know for a fact that Britain sent Special Forces to train members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, and they were embedded within them, they trained them, and directed operations in the battle against the Libyan forces of Colonel Gaddafi.

JC: And we have this confirmed by one of the Clinton emails.

AM: We not only have that, we have the BBC confirm it. And, if you recall, at the beginning of the conflict, near its beginning in the early part of 2011, there was this episode where a certain Libyan insurrectionist, a militia, caught British officials who were being accompanied by Special Forces. These were, I think, people from the Foreign Office, but obviously MI6, being accompanied by a detachment of SAS troops, and so I think that was a shaky introduction. But, I think things were sorted out because obviously they were released and the subsequent relationship we’ve just mentioned about British forces, Special Forces, helping them did come about.

JC: Yes, going back to France’s role in this, the accusation that’s often made against Sarkozy seems to be borne out by one of the Clinton emails that France was very worried, or I suppose the elite of France was very worried, that Libya was going to establish a pan-African currency based on Libyan gold, and that they had billions, apparently, in gold and a similar amount in silver, and there were various other reasons why France was concerned that Libya would be going its ‘own way’. Again, let me quote from that email. So this is email No. C05785522, which you can read at FOIA.state.gov -and I shall put links into the show notes of course. So this is Sidney Blumenthal to Hilary Clinton dated April 2nd 2011, and the subject is: “France’s Client and Gaddafi’s Gold.” O.K., and I’m quoting here: “According to sensitive information available to these individuals” -and I’ve just explained that sources with access to one of Gaddafi’s sons- and I’m continuing with the quote now: “According to sensitive information available to these individuals, Gaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold and a similar amount in silver. This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion, and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan gold dinar. This plan was designed to provide the francophone African countries with an alternative to the French franc CFA”, and there’s a source comment here: “According to the knowledgeable individuals, this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than 7 billion dollars. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicholas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya. According to these individuals, Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:

A. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
B. Increase French influence in North Africa,
C. Improve his internal political situation in France,
D. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
E. Address the concern of his advisors over Gaddafi’s long-term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in francophone Africa.

So, it does seem that there’s very good evidence here that it was in France’s interest to push all of this.

AM: Oh, absolutely. It was under Nicolas Sarkozy’s watch that France became integrated into NATO’s military structure. General Charles De Gaulle had withdrawn France from NATO’s military structure back in the 1960s. In fact he’d evicted NATO from its Paris Headquarters, and was later forced to relocate to Brussels, and Nicolas Sarkozy’s intention was, as you stated, to reinforce France’s power, and we saw that in the way France intervened in the Ivory Coast, and also in Central West Africa around Mali. But what you mentioned there about the creation of the gold dinar by Col. Gaddafi is very, very important, because again that was something that was broached, but there wasn’t some sort of official confirmation. At times you really feel that definitely was the case, but we need the evidence, and, you know, due to WikiLeaks and things like that, and admissions by the likes of Roland Dumas and Wesley Clark, we do get confirmation and if we look at that economic angle to the overthrow of Gaddafi, we can see precedents elsewhere: Syria is an example of a country that wasn’t a member of certain western banking institutions. And also Saddam Hussein: One of the reasons he was overthrown is because he threatened not to use the dollar in terms of trading in oil; he wanted to use the euro, and so it does seem that those nations from the so-called developing world, or other parts of the world actually, any part of the world, who do not toe the line with Washington are earmarked for destruction.

JC: I want to return to Iran. You mentioned Iran a little while ago, and I want to throw into the conversation yet another one of these pieces of documentary evidence, because I think it’s a very striking piece of information, so this is the Brookings Institution publishing their Which Path to Persia” document from 2009, their so-called analysis paper, which is subtitled “Options for a New American Strategy towards Iran”, an interesting title there that seems to connect with the Project for a New American Century in my mind, and they have various suggestions as to how regime change could take place in Iran, and they actually go so far as to suggest inspiring an insurgency – this is in chapter 7 – and using groups like Mojahedin-e-Khaiq, which, at the time, were designated as terrorists by the US, and here is the Brookings Institution, which is very well-known think-tank and one of the most widely quoted think-tanks in Washington DC, actually suggesting yes, we could use these people to conduct terrorist operations against Iran. What’s your reaction to the fact that we have a document like that, and yet this information is not widely known by people?

AM: It’s not widely known presumably because there can be that fallback position that,  “Oh well, this is just merely a think-tank, they’re putting things out into the open and it’s up to the policy makers and the deciders of Government to rely on it or not”.

JC: And yet, at the time, they were designated as terrorists. You would think that that would be unacceptable, or you would think should be unacceptable even to be mentioned by such a supposedly august institution.

AM: That’s absolutely true. Again, being an august institution obviously it will not be well known to the general public, but, time and again, we see these issues in these documents. Let me put it this way: think about Senator John McCain, the Chairman of the Arms Services Committee in the Senate, who made visits while that Libyan insurrection was ongoing in the early part of 2011, just a month or two after it began. It may not have been widely known to the public at the time, although Col. Gaddafi in one of his speeches, which was reported in the West, but discounted as the ravings of a mad man, he said, “you’re supporting al-Qaeda”. Here’s John McCain walking through the streets of Benghazi and basically giving succor to Islamist belligerents, people who subscribe to the ideology of al-Qaeda, the very people who were said to have perpetrated the 9/11 atrocity, the people who were supposed to be the enemies of the West. You can look at the same thing with John McCain’s illegal visits to Syria, and meeting so-called ‘moderates’, who, later on, turn out to be members of hardline Islamist groups, and you also see John McCain fraternizing with people with neo-Nazi sympathies like the leader of Svoboda in Ukraine. So, putting the Brookings Institute and these think-tanks to one side, we do actually see confirmation between that sort of contact between a prominent serving western politician and these proscribed organizations, so not surprising.

JC: No, not surprising really, and under the surface we can imagine all sorts of links making a quite coherent policy towards all this in fact, and linking back into history, and of course this is where your article I think is so important is where you show this way of thinking is nothing new; it’s been going on for a long time, and in many different places, and one of the first places that you go to in your discussion here is Germany, and you start by looking at Heinrich Himmler giving a 1944 speech where he is basically saying that Islam is ideal: If you’re going to be a soldier, well why not be an Islamist? And you also go back beyond that to Kaiser Wilhelm’s views of Muslims as good for guerilla warfare, so do you want to tell us about Germany’s cultivation of Islam, Islamism, for the purposes of war?

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And I’m afraid the rest of that interview with Adeyinka Makinde will have to wait till next week, because my time for editing this week has simply come to an end. I wish it were not so, but it is, so the next part, as I say, looking into some of the history of this phenomenon will be next week, not a fortnight from now, but as I always have to say: “All being well.”

© The Mind Renewed and Adeyinka Makinde (2017).